The Butte de Warlencourt

Rich In History

The Bute de Warlencourt is an ancient burial ground off the Albert-Bapaume road, north-east of Le Sars.

During the First World War the Germans dug deep dugouts throughout the Butte and surrounded it with several belts of barbed wire, making it a formidable defensive position in advance of Gallwitz Rieger (the Grid Trenches). After the battle of Fleurs-Courcelette (15-22 September 2016) the view from the Butte dominated the new British front line and was used by the Germans for artillery observation.

During the Battle of Le Transloy (1–20 October 1916), part of the Battle of the Somme, the Butte de Warlencourt was the subject of several attacks by the British Fourth Army, which were costly failures; attacks in November also failed. The 2nd Australian Division occupied the butte on 24 February 1917, during the German retirements made on the Somme front, preparatory to Unternehmen Alberich, the retreat to the Hindenburg Line. The Butte de Warlencourt was recaptured by the German 2nd Army on 24 March 1918, during the retreat of the 2nd Division in Operation Michael, the German spring offensive. The Butte was recaptured for the last time on 26 August, by the 21st Division, during the Second Battle of Bapaume.

In 1990, the site was purchased for preservation by the Western Front Association with the help of donations from members. The Association announced in October 2018 its sale to its former chairman, Bob Paterson. Following concerns raised, Paterson offered to sell the site back to the Western Front Association.

GPS Location: Latitude: 50.07629 Longitude: 2.79501

Photographs from my visit to the Bute de Warlencourt - 25 October 2017

Photographs from my visit to the ute de Warlencourt - 1 November 2018